A bit of history about our pub:
The Maltsters Arms is first recorded in 1923 as a Woodbury Pub.The Maltster was the man who prepared the barley for the Brewer by steeping it in water until it had absorbed the correct amount of moister (learned by experience). The water was then drained and the barley spread over the floor for about 8-10 days until it began to sprout.
During this time it was frequently turned to prevent overheating, the tool employed being the familiar Malt Shovel, and eventually it was placed into a kiln and dried. The longer and harder it was dried, the darker the beer. When removed and cooled the sproutings were removed by trampling on them and when polished and dressed were ready for the brewer. If the premises were large enough (as these were) the Maltster, Brewer and Licensee were very often one and the same person.
This short explanation of the Maltsters art is reflected in the new Inn sign (not a real Coat of Arms) with the wooden Malt shovels and ears of barley. The sign also had local representation in Clyst St Mary, Exmouth (Tower Street - demolished 1866) and at Topsham (the Maltscoop or shovel) and was formerly even more popular than today.
Williams remained into the 1930s and was followed by Albert Henry Gater at which late date this pen runs into stiff competition for several locals each with far more accurate versions of events, perhaps of how the cobbles were laid with straw to deaden the horses hooves in times of illness or bereavement.
But sup your ale, long since brewed by Messrs Norman and Pring and lately Col. Whitbread, and contemplate the cosy journey home by car instead of Four in Hand, howling gale and Footpads at Pink House Corner.